News Releases

University of Maryland iGEM team, co-advised by IBBR Fellow, Dr. Edward Eisenstein, brings home a gold medal for their innovative plastic waste bioremediation and degradation measurement project

November 30, 2018 -- It takes about 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down in nature, but with the UMD “PETNET” team’s new technology, this time could potentially be cut to as little as 2 weeks.  The team also developed an efficient and economical system to measure degradation.

IBBR welcomes middle school students for Frontiers in Science & Medicine Day

November 16, 2018 -- Thirty-seven seventh graders from Briggs Chaney and Banneker Middle Schools of Montgomery County visited IBBR, on Friday, November 9, for an especially eye-opening and mind-expanding school day.  The Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day program, a collaborative effort among organizations within the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center, is celebrating its tenth year with nearly 600 students participating program-wide.  IBBR has hosted groups of students for nine years of the Frontiers program.

NIST Director and Standards Alumni Association honor former Associate Director of CARB

October 29, 2018 -- Dr. Gary L. Gilliland was honored on Friday morning, October 26th, with a portrait in the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Scientists, Engineers and Administrators.  Dr. Gilliland served as the Associate Director of UMBI CARB, a partnership among the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), Montgomery County, and NIST, from 1991-1996 and from 2002-2003.  CARB later evolved into the University’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (IBBR), a partnership among UMCP, University of Maryland Baltimore, and NIST.... Read More

IBBR research discovery could be crucial to development of cross-species Ebola vaccines and treatments

October 16, 2018 -- The recent cases of Ebola virus infection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are an alarming reminder of the 2014 outbreak in West Africa.  IBBR Fellow Dr. Gilad Ofek, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College Park Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, recently solved the crystal structure of a cross-protective antibody bound to an important ebolavirus surface protein. Structural insights from this work lay important groundwork for the development of vaccines and therapeutics effective across all five species of the virus.

Harnessing viral enzymes to combat bacterial infections in dairy cows

October 1, 2018 -- When most of us think about viruses and bacteria, we envision germs that make people sick. But, Dr. Daniel Nelson, IBBR Fellow and Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Maryland College Park, studies viruses that may end up making us well -- by killing disease-causing bacteria. 

IBBR Doctoral Candidate, Tsega Solomon, Travels to Dublin to Present Protein Folding Research

August 30, 2018 -- Tsega Solomon, a doctoral candidate in Dr. John Orban’s laboratory at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), attended the XXVIII International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems, at the University College Dublin, Ireland, on August 19-24, 2018.  Solomon’s poster, on temperature-dependent protein fold switching, was chosen as one of the best at the event, for which she received a Suraj Manrao Student Science Fund poster award. 

Orban Presents at Gordon Conference in Switzerland

August 23, 2018 -- IBBR Fellow Dr. John Orban spoke at the Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Gordon Research Conference held in Les Diablerets, Switzerland in early July. Dr. Orban presented work from two systems his team is exploring in his talk titled “Disordered Regions in Ensemble and Fold Switching”.

Montgomery County Students Gain Biotechnology Experience at IBBR

August 23, 2018 -- IBBR’s 2018 Summer Intern program culminated on Thursday, August 16, as six Montgomery County high school students presented their research results to their peers, colleagues, family, and friends at a poster session held at the Institute’s Shady Grove campus. Begun in 2003, the IBBR Summer Intern program has provided approximately 160 local high school students with real-world experience in biology, chemistry, and engineering.

New Cell Lines Will Facilitate Optimized Production of Antibody-based Therapeutics

August 13, 2018 -- A family of drugs called monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) harnesses the power of the immune system to fight cancer and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.  In 2016, NIST released a reference standard for mAbs called NISTmAb.  Now, NIST and UMD researchers at IBBR have developed three cell lines that produce antibodies very similar to the NISTmAb standard.  The new cell lines will be publicly available, valuable tools for studying the biomanufacturing production process for new mAb drugs.

IBBR Researchers Develop Web Platform for Modeling Structure of Immune System Proteins

August 9, 2018 -- Immune system proteins called T cell receptors (TCRs) are involved in fighting infectious disease, are implicated in a number of autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and have major potential as a platform for the development of cancer drugs. TCRModel, developed by IBBR Fellow Dr. Brian Pierce and postdoctoral associate Dr. Ragul Gowthaman, allows researchers to input TCR sequences and retrieve high-resolution structure predictions in a matter of minutes.